Use MEM to remove Microsoft Teams (Preview)

Depending on how you configure Windows 11, you may have a very confusing Teams experience:

And there’s another hidden Teams icon in the overflow area!

What’s going on here?

All versions of Windows 11 come with Microsoft Teams (Preview), a consumer-only version of Teams rebuilt from the ground up with faster performance. In the taskbar, that is the Teams icon with the white square around the T. The purple video chat icon launches a dedicated quick chat for Teams (Preview) as well. It’s a great app, but it’s consumer-only because you can’t log in with corporate AAD credentials – only personal Microsoft accounts.

In fact, after you launch it, Teams (Preview) will even suggest you get the other Teams:

Get Microsoft Teams (work or school)

And if you install both, they appear side-by-side:

Microsoft Teams…or Microsoft Teams?

For most organizations, this brings back memories of having two OneNote apps or Skype vs Skype for Business. It’s a confusing experience for users unless you remove the app they can’t (or shouldn’t) use.

It’s worth noting – from our previous post, users needed to click on the Chat icon in the taskbar to actually install the Teams (Preview) app. Before clicking on it, it won’t show up in All apps or through search. So we may not actually need to uninstall the Teams (Preview) app. If we do really need to uninstall it, we can use a simple PowerShell script:

Remove the Teams (Preview) App using PowerShell

First we need to run Get-AppxPackage to find the full name of the Teams (Preview) app:

Then we can test out running the Remove-AppxPackage command locally and specify the PackageFullName:

That was easy enough but notice from before that the chat app is still on the taskbar, even after we ran the uninstall command. This will reinstall Teams (Preview) if the user clicks on it, so we’ll also need to configure the taskbar items.

Configure the Taskbar to remove the Chat icon using a CSP

While you can deploy a custom Windows 11 Taskbar, this does not change the unique Taskbar Items – Search, Task view, Widgets, and Chat. You can disable those in Settings:

Chat personalization settings

But that won’t help us for deploying devices. Fortunately, there is a CSP for disabling the Chat icon, Experience/ConfigureChatIcon.

To deploy this setting, create a Settings Catalog configuration profile by going to Devices > Configuration Profiles > + Create profile > Settings catalog (preview):

Setting Catalog

And after giving the configuration profile an appropriate name, search for the Configure Chat Icon setting in the Settings picker:

Configure Chat Icon setting

And configure it to Hide (along with any other settings we need):

Configure Chat Icon set to Hide

After deploying that to our users, we’ll see that there’s no more Chat icon on the taskbar:

W11 Taskbar without Chat

Configure the Taskbar to remove the Chat icon using a PowerShell script

Alternatively, we could edit the following Registry key:

Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\TaskbarMn set to 0
With TaskbarMn set to 1, Chat is shown on the taskbar

And since we’re already using a PowerShell command to remove the Teams (Preview) app in case it was installed, why not a simple script to update the Taskbar Chat setting?

New-ItemProperty -Path "HKCU:\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced" -Name "TaskbarMn" -Value "0" -PropertyType DWORD -Force
And the Chat icon is gone!


Now that we know the script works, we’ll need to deploy it via MEM. So we can save both commands as a .ps1 script:

VS Code sample script

And then in the MEM admin center, go to Devices > Scripts > +Add > Windows 10 and later:

Devices > Scripts > +Add

And upload the script and select Run script with 64 bit PowerShell host and Run this script using the logged on credentials:

Provide a detailed name
Script settings

And after assigning to a different device, I’ll check on that device after a moment to see if there’s only 1 Teams app installed:

Only one teams!

Success!

With either a single configuration profile, or a simple two line script, deployed through Microsoft Endpoint Manager, we’re able to ensure users won’t be confused about which Teams client to use. No more Teams (Preview) – until it’s ready for corporate use, at least.

There’s lots to cover for Windows 11 – and posts like this one may change as new features for MEM or Windows 11 are released. As always, stay tuned and happy configuring! ?

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